Greater City Providence
The former Shooters nightclub on the Providence waterfront.

You paid for it, what should be built at Shooters?

The former Shooters nightclub on the Providence waterfront.

As reported by PBN, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management will soon issue an RFI seeking input from interested developers on revenue generating schemes for the site of the now shuttered Shooters nightclub. The DEM will host public meetings based on the informtion received throught the RFI, then hopes to settle on development scheme and begin construction in 2013.

You may remember that last year voters approved a ballot measure to secure $3.2 million in bonds for the DEM to purchase the land from RIDOT. So, since we own it, what do we think should be done with it.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • they should tear down the whole building except the facade that faces the street and build a steel frame to hold it up for the next ten years while it blocks the sidewalk because let’s face it, Shooters is an historic place.

    but seriously, they should put in a recreation center that you can rent bikes at to ride on the bike path. maybe an arcade too.

  • People always want a recreation center and for some reason they don’t work out, like that swimming pool in Fall River, they get neglected, middle class people stop going and the poor are left at risk with substandard. I don’t trust the State or City to maintain a recreation center. Let it go for Lawyer and Doctors offices, if the rich are making money it’s sure to find success. Sorry Matt and Jeff I don’t like them but the rich always win!

  • I still enjoy my idea of a “Providence Eye” Ferris Wheel as part of the redevelopment of the site in addition to restaurants, gifts shop, info center, etc. AND for these reasons:

    • Revenue Generator (year round with climate controlled cars)
    • Job Creator (Short and Long Term)
    • Unique Regional Attraction
    • Adds to quality of life to urban core
    • Gives something for adults and children to do and brings them to the adjacent parks and waters
    • Tourist Destination (tourism is the third largest economic force in RI?)
    • Breath taking views of the bay, Newport Bridge and Providence Skyline
    • Pays homage to Rhode Island’s history of shoreline amusement parks, recreation and bay culture.

  • The image within the link above was manipulated using photos of the London Eye in London England with the imposed Providence Skyline in the background.

  • Andy, that is a very great idea! I like the way you think. Let me know if you need any help with making that vision come true. Currently, I am an intern for Greater Kennedy Plaza, so I see the potential that Providence has and I’d really like to make ideas like yours come to life. Email me if you need any help,

  • The only problem I see with Andy’s idea is i’m afraid it would turn into an eyesore like the thing in New Jersey that was built and went belly up like 4 times.

  • Parking lot, obviously.

    Let’s do an ideas competition. We can draw up a RFP for images, and post the results. Could be fun.

  • The Ferris wheel is a tremendous idea. The neighborhood may not go for it, given their height phobia.

    The Shooter’s site is considerably remote to downtown. There was an indication or interest that a ferry terminal located at the site could serve various destinations around the bay. Especially in the summer there could be a lot of ferry passengers. How would ferry passengers or anyone else using the Shooters site facilities get there|by car? Also, where would cars be parked?

    Why not develop a Fox Point to Tunnel/Washington Street streetcar line that could transfer to the Core Connector? Alternately the line could extend to University Heights from Fox Point. If they can’t afford streetcar driver’s salary with such a short route, there’s always the option for an automated monorail, but it has been pointed out before that’s probably too radical for Providence.

    A rubber wheel bus “trolley” would not be a very believable link between a major ferry terminal and the downtown core. Bus driver’s salaries with a bus “trolley” would pose the same problem as with streetcar drivers.

    There could be a rational to justify such a streetcar route, as it would link the South Main Street courthouse, offices, and retail; the eastern portion of the 195 Land development sites; Wickenden Street retail; the Shooters site/ferry terminal; and India Point Park to downtown.

  • I’ll see your monorail fed ferry terminal and raise you…a SEAPLANE terminal! I’m serious. Providence needs seaplanes: take the train from Boston, the trolley to India Point, then catch a seaplane to Block Island, Nantucket, etc.

  • How deep is the water off the docks at Shooters? A lot of boaters (sail and power) dock at Newport and never come up the bay because there is no place to dock short term (say for a weekend or a week). Its a shame that the capital city of the Ocean State can’t be reached and accessed by boating vacationers.

    It may be the logical and boring choice, but a marina that provides a short term facility with docking, showers, lockers and provisioning might make sense. The dock pilings are already there. Put in a trolley stop and a couple of zip car locations or a bike rental hub to allow them to get out and see the city. I know a “yacht club” for the wealthy may not seem progressive but this demographic has a lot of disposable income that may never see Providence otherwise.

    You can still make the land available to the public. Add in a reasonably sized restaurant\banquet space (no nightclubs allowed) that overlooks the visiting boats with a spectacular view down the bay. Maintain public access along the shoreline that connects with the existing parks in both directions. Put in a boat launch along the east end of the property that can be shared with the Community Boating Center.

    Most waterfront areas are a mix of private and public uses and right now Providence has nothing really like this.

  • The channel is dredged at least to the area around Conley’s Warf. The tug boats tie up next door (although they draft much less).

  • I think the marina and the PVD eye could work together, if we are playing the dreaming game.

    I wonder about the marina. Frankly while I realize that the upper Narragansett isn’t an amazingly remarkable thing of beauty, neither is e.g. the Boston Harbor or the Baltimore Inner Harbor. While those cities are quite a bit larger than Providence, I am still amazed that there isn’t *some* waterfront/wharf type development in Providence, complete with boat rides and all. I mean from an historical perspective I can understand how we got here, but it seems to be a pretty big hole.

    That said, I do wonder what the demand actually is. There seems to be plenty of slip space at the only game in town (outside of Hot Club). Edgewood and RIYC seem to meet the demand for upper bay marinas.

  • Oh, also the one in EP near Houlihan’s (on Water St.), which seems about 30% full as well. And there is a fairly large one at Brewer Cove, near Bullock’s Point in EP, though that is far enough south that it’s not really part of any urban landscape.

  • I think what we lack is a place where one can tie up for a day or a night or a week. My understanding is the Hot Club used to allow people to tie up, but it was more trouble for them than it was worth.

  • Love the boat-slip idea and Providence is definitely lacking in this arena (or shall I say marina?). Its unfortunate the the capital city has not exactly exploited this previously and as a potentially significant revenue generator.

    However, with boat-slip marina ought to come some type of everyman public attraction. Whether this be a restaurant, rec-center, ferris wheel or transportation links, most Rhode Islanders and Providenceians do not have a boat to slip or yatch to dock. This space really needs to be considered a mixed-use, public space and for all to be able to access. Otherwise, we may as well build that 15 story private residence tower that was initially proposed.

    In fact, what I believe to be most prudent would be the extension of commerce and public attraction from lower South Water Street (Hot Club; Whiskey Republic; Alforno; adjacent park) to the area in question. As the parcels south of Wickenden Street, made available from the I-195 project, become developable we have a great opportunity to create a distinct space that could dictate the climate of the Old Harbor District for decades to come.

  • I like the idea of the ferris wheel/eye, and the boatslip. How about something like the swan boat/paddleboat rides they have at Roger Williams Park? There could be a boardwalk setup, some concessions, perhaps a carousel too. I think the idea of having a bike rental station would be great too.

  • Well since it looks like Heritage Harbor/Dynamo House is never going to happen, why not make the first floor a place where there’s some ‘history on display’, like a mini-museum, open during the day for field-trips. The kids can go from there to the CBC next door and get a ride on a REAL boat! The second floor and up can be night-only attractions: A restaurant and bar. Make the dock long enough to have a few leased and a few ‘daily’ slips.

    Also, it would be really nice to have a trolley come through the area around midnight to pick folks up from bars, take them through Brown/RISD (to drop off students), and return to Kennedy Plaza. It would keep a few dozen drunks off the road every night.

  • If we’re talking pie in the sky dreams, what about a boardwalk with a white wooden roller coaster, a few rides, some night clubs, restaurants….

  • I like all these ideas and will add another. How about a location for a “sea” farmers market? A place where at least once a week you can get fresh seafood?

    Providence could use a public marina/boat launch.

    Also, a please where no matter what time of the year it is, you can get fried dough and funnel cakes–I’d go for that.

  • Do we have many boats bringing their catch into Providence? I thought most of our fishing fleet was down in Galilee and that area.

  • Rhode Island DEM soliciting ideas for former Shooters property [The Providence Journal]

    Now, the DEM is asking everyone interested in the site’s future to submit their views and ideas for what should be done here to the state’s Division of Purchases within the Department of Administration by 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 8. While the DEM’s request for information will probably draw proposals from developers, even citizens who have some idea what they’d like to see happen there can submit ideas, said Jerome D. Moynihan, assistant director for special projects at the Department of Administration.

  • Ok. Are we going to put together some views and idears? I think we should.

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